Friday, June 13, 2014

Life Changes

Awwwwww, so adorables!!!!
I know it's been a bit quiet around here, but there is a very good explanation for my brief writing hiatus.  In the past several weeks, I have been making dramatic life changes.  I resigned from my family's business and accepted a position with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).  I am finally getting back into the swing of using my education and will now be a research assistant studying rare genetic disorders.  I am very excited for this new chapter of my life to begin, which is this coming Monday, ahhhhhh!!!  This change in directions has left little time for me to do much more than think and prepare.  I have also been wrapped up in training new employees at my old job.  So, as you can see, I haven't gone away, just had to focus on my immediate future for awhile.  I am anxious to get back to my writing and catch everyone up with Piper's development over the past month.  Boy has she exploded into a new world of running, language acquisition, and many other amazing changes that have left me astounded, proud, and extremely busy keeping up wit her ever changing self.

The next couple of weeks I imagine will be overwhelming as well as exciting.  So, on that note, I may be silent for just a bit longer as I get settled into my new career.  But don't worry, I will soon be back with much gusto and make up for lost time.  In the meantime, I wanted to share some recent pics of my little darling for those who may be missing her sweet smile and rampant curiosity of all things in life.  Hopefully this will tide you all over until I can get into a real post.

These first pictures are ones I found on my mom's phone...hoarder!  I jest, since I love discovering pics of her that I didn't know existed, especially since they are just so damn darling!  I believe these were all taken in late May.  




Yes, she's discovered the stairs, yikes!


She always looks so cool when she goes strolling the block!
Out in the garden playing with an empty coke can...
no, she is not allowed to drink those awful things!
This next set of pics I took just a few days ago on our neighborhood stroll.  Down the dead-end road there is a house where they have chickens, horses, and some adorable goats.  Piper loves to feed the animals, especially the cutie-patootie goats.  Cannot wait till their babies are born!

Once again, looking cool for her stroll!
I mean, WAY COOL!!






Too cute, right?




These next pics are from her painting session just a couple of days ago.  She was finger painting and using a couple of brushes to create masterpieces for her "uncle" David at my office.  Since we will be seeing less of him, we decided he needed so Piper originals to tide him over until her next visit.

Yes, I painted her nose red...non-toxic, so don't worry!
Kisses!

Once again, the serious face!
Love this one!

My favorite shot!  So awesome, I've now posted it twice in this blog :)


More kisses!
And yes, I pained my nose, too!
This last pic I took of her napping on me the other day.  No, that is not wrinkles on her arm, just a mark from where her blanket was.  Who wouldn't kill for those eyelashes?


Okay, I hope that everyone can bear with me a few more weeks as I get my new life in order.  I sure as heck don't want any of my fans to think I've disappeared.  Remember, you can always visit my Facebook fan page to get the daily scoop, although I have been a little quieter on there than usual, too.  I've got a lot of writing material stored up in my head, so when I get all my ducks back in row, watch out!

Until then, please keep voting for us on Top Mommy and Top Baby Blogs.  All of you awesome folks have kept us in the top 20 over at Top Baby Blogs and that is the greatest compliment of all!!!  Thank you!  Also, as always, check out my other social media pages via the links below, and feel free to follow on Instagram, too!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Piper's First Easter, A Way Belated Post!

Easter eggs are fun!
Yeah, yeah, yeah!  I know Easter was awhile back, but I got very busy with the All Things Baby Blog Hop and never quite got the time to write about Piper's first Easter.  Which is a shame, cause a lot of adorable pics were taken that day.  Plus, that's the day when Piper really got her new legs in full working order. Technically, she had begun walking around 7-8 steps at a time before stumbling back down on March 28th. It was Easter, however, with all her tromping through the yard hunting eggs, that seemed to solidify her place in official toddlerhood. (yes, another one of my made-up words)

Besides her finally getting her new legs working quite well, Easter was an absolute blast!  I used to love hunting eggs as a child, and I obviously enjoy hiding them and letting Piper find them now.  I have a little less enthusiasm for the dyeing process, however.  Seriously, why do the pics on the boxes of dye look so pretty and all my eggs turn out color deformed, to say the least!  I used three separate methods of dying; a) the usual dip and soak; b) the spinner contraption method that's supposed to marbleize the eggs with various colors, and c) hand-painted-on dye called "candy apple" eggs for their extreme glossy look.

The one on the right was okay, sort of.

Don't be fooled, this dye sucks!
Don't think I'm about to turn this into a review blog, because it would turn very ugly, very quick.  But, above you will see the pics of the dyes I used.  The plain dip and soak one with the spill-proof lids (yeah, that's a stretch), was the best. The other two dye packages, royally sucked!  The candy apple ones would have been quite beautiful, and I loved the idea of hand painting the eggs with a brush, but the damned things never dried and were extremely sticky.  Even days after Easter, while devouring the eggs, the paint still hadn't fully dried.  Plus, if you tried mixing two colors together, for instance I tried making one with polka dots, the colors eventually ran a muck and resulted in extreme next-day ugliness!  But oh well, lessons learned.  Ugly eggs are still fun and tasty, and it did become a laughing matter and ongoing joke, so not all was lost.

Although the dying of the eggs was less than perfect, and it was kind of a bummer that Piper couldn't help out just yet, (next year she'll be old enough), I did have an absolute blast hand-making her Easter basket. I'm known in the family for my Easter basket making, and this year I was glad to be making one for my own daughter.

I started with a dark brown wicker basket I purchased at Hobby Lobby.  I spray painted the basket white and then overcoated it with pink glitter spray paint.  After it was dry, I added the various ribbons and fabrics, also purchased at Hobby Lobby.  The inside and outside bottom I covered in a purple gingham fabric.  I then wrapped the handle in baby pink and baby blue rosette ribbons.  Around the outside I added two different styles of ribbon.  At the base and very top was a shimmery yet clear ribbon with flowers on it and a cute hot pink trim.  Around the middle I added a yellow lace ribbon.  I must admit, it turned out absolutely adorable.  I guarantee no one else on the planet had the same basket, and that is what I love about hand-making items.

I think the basket turned out totally awesome!
Love the butterflies, cause I'm such a girl!
A view from the top!
I filled the basket with an assortment of baby-okay items such as PEEPs, a stuffed bunny and stuffed baby's first Easter duck, two wind-up hopping bunnies and chicks, a water squirter with a ducky on top, a light-up rubber ducky that is kind of indescribable, a light up wand, three long-stemmed various colored daisies, a set of bunny ears, a feather boa (still trying to get her to wear this), washable markers, marshmallow twist ropes, and an assortment of pastel and glitter plastic eggs filled with age-appropriate edibles like tufts of cotton candy, more PEEPs, pop rocks, and the most adorable Easter candy rings I've ever encounterd.  I have to watch her with the rings, though, because she likes to drop them and then they collect icky on their sticky.

Hard to tell here, but they are adorable!
As she did with her Santa loot Christmas morning, Piper very deliberately went through each item in her Easter basket one by one.  I don't think I've ever run across another child who takes such time with each individual item, like everything has a soul and needs to be loved equally.  Okay, that may be stretching it a little bit, but she does take an inordinate amount of time experiencing new things, which in this case happened to be Easter basket goodies.  Throughout the process were many oohs and awes and woahs (said stoner surfer style).  Her "dad" is from California, so I guess it is possible she does have a stoner surfer gene in her somewhere, I just know she started woahing things on her own, it wasn't learnt from me.  It cracks me up every time I hear her use this expression, though, and I do hope it stays in her word repertoire.  Enough about all that, let's get to the pics!

The set-up...
Exploration begins...
The first glitter egg...
The first PEEP...
She loves these flowers!
Seriously carries them everywhere now!
Who knew something less than a $1 would be so awesome?
She still trying to figure out the water squirter,
but it does also whistle when its empty
Woah, eggs!
The indescribable rubber ducky thingy!
The not so loved feather boa!  Give me time,
soon she'll appreciate the Rocky Horrorness of it!
Yes, I said Rocky Horror!
I grew up on a bootleg copy and used to go to the midnight showings.
She will be a Tim Curry fan if it kills me!
Plus, salmon is THE color of the season!
The purple flower is her fav!
Another woah!
The "baby's first Easter" ducky!
Testing the taste of the chicken shaped candy ring...does not taste like chicken!
The PEEPs fascinate her.
Finally put on the bunny ears!
And she looks adorable!
What's in this egg?  And where did the ears go?
It's a stuffed mini bunny!
 Now dubbed Bunny Foo-Foo which helps her go poo-poo...
story for another post :)
Digging for hidden treasures!
The washable markers, a big hit for sure!
COTTON CANDY!!!!
Always smelling the flowers, real or fake!
After Piper completed her Easter basket rummaging, we then ate some breakfast, she had some boob, took a nap, and then got dolled up to hunt Easter eggs.  I absolutely love hunting Easter eggs, and Piper obviously takes after me.  Since I am a first-time mom, I overdid the dying and we ended up with three dozen eggs for her to find.  A bit much, but she was a trooper!  I guess this may be the reason her new walking skills kicked into high gear, because they were hidden starting on the back deck and then all over the back and side yards.  They may not have been the prettiest dyed eggs, but Piper didn't care as discovering them was delightful task that she thoroughly enjoyed.

Nana helping her along.
Note: I'm the only one who knows how to work the fancy cam,
so I had to give up my helping Piper duties to snap the pics.
 No way was I going to miss out on Easter pics!
Aw, a swirly pinkish-purple egg!
And a yellow one too, woohoo!
She got the concept of putting them in the basket very quickly...
See, going right to it...
And dropping it in....
Her mode of delivery was lacking, however, as brute
force was sometimes used resulting in a lot of cracked eggs!
No honey, that's a gazing ball, but nice try!
Hiding in the grass...
But not hiding well enough for this little munchkin!
Aw, isn't she just a darling in that dress?
I love the angel wings sleeves, just too precious!
Found another one!
It's actually one of the pretty ones, too!
Until the brute force came along...CRACK!
This one was in the side yard...
It was a long walk, so Nana helped carry her back...nice ears!
A blue one!
And into the basket it goes!
Don't the eggs look stunning in the basket?
Love that all the colors meshed so well.
Apprfeciating her collection thus far.
But still wanting more!
Trying to hide on the tarp!
Not exactly good camouflage when you're yellow!
This was her favorite egg, yellow with green wispy stripes on it.
Trying to decided if it's worth it to let her favorite one go...
Decision made!
This one was a hand-painted uber ugly tie-dyed one...
It was beautiful to Piper!
Last one...finally!
She was such a good little hunter!
After all the hunting was completed, we decided to try and take some pretty pics with the fancy cam.  First stop, one of the garden walls.  Although the setting was pretty, the subject wasn't exactly in picture-posing mode, as has been the case for over a month now.  She's way too curious and active to sit still for pictures.  I was planning on having professional pictures taken last month, but now I'm thinking of waiting until the fall...maybe then she'll have more hair by then, too.

Nana getting her positioned...
Piper considering things...
Like not wearing the ears...
But hugging them instead, hahahaha!
Look!  Eggs!
Doi-doi?
 That's her question phrase.
Don't ask, it's her own made up baby word!
No seriously, doi-doi?
(It can also mean give me that, too)
She's quite the curious and demanding little babe!
Look! Eggs!
I has a flower!
Look!  Eggs!
So, after the failed attempt at posing on the garden wall, we moved to sitting in another one of the gardens. Let's just say she was no less distracted and curious about her surroundings than before.  She is truly a nature lover, and all things plant-like grabbed her attention and just would not let go.  I so love my little flower child!

See, totally and immediately distracted! 
By everything!
Wondering what the hell we're trying to get her to do...
Looking to Papa for answers...
Now the set-up is complete with basket and ears!
And finally an accidentally adorable pic!
Joyful abandon!
I has another flower, smell it!
Ooooh, a fern!
And notice she's gotten her favorite egg back in hand...
But puts it down once more flowers are in hand...
Maybe I can have both?
Nope, I prefer the flower!  Bye-bye egg!
So pretty!
They frame her face quite nicely :)
Smell my flowers!
What if I ask nicely and with a smile?
A bigger smile?
A gigantic smile?
How about a guffaw?
Fine, I'll smell them myself!
Love this pic!
They really do smell lovely!
You smell them Papa!
And you too, Nana!
You won't regret it!
Do it, do it now!
You smell them, too!
After the photo session ended, we went back inside and relaxed for awhile, changed into something more comfy, then headed onto the back deck so Piper good dig into the Easter basket Papa made for her....which was full of chocolates!

Mmmmmmmm...chocolate!
It's so good!
Can I stuff more in?
Tasty fingers!
As I was about to finish this post up, I ran across some more pictures on my Facebook page that actually have me in them, proving I was there for Piper's first Easter.  I'll wrap things up with these...they're random, but I adore them.

Such a pretty blue egg!
Contemplating her next move!
Where the hunt initially began!
Mama helping her get used to walking in her new sandals before hitting the yard.
Showing her find to mama :)
And finally a pic of us together!
I do adore Easter and cannot wait until next year when Piper can be more involved in the entire Easter process...such as egg dyeing.  This year, as I said before, she was still just a little too young to sit still and participate.  I cannot imagine how messy it would have gotten had she showed interest and then insisted on helping out, dodged a bullet there.  Also, as she gets older, the egg hunting will become more and more elaborate.  By the time were young kids, my dad had gotten to the point of hiding eggs so well that he had to leave treasure maps for us to find them.  Some were even buried and had to be excavated!  And you know not all eggs were found every year.  I still remember finding eggs in late July at times, and let me tell you there is no smell that compares to egg that's been sitting in the hot Southern summer sun for months on end...WHEW!  It'll be awhile yet before we get that advanced with our Easter hunting with Piper, but when she's old enough, she's in for a real challenge!

As always, I hope you all have enjoyed tromping down memory lane with me today.  Wish I could have gotten this post out sooner, but I was too tied up with the All Things Baby Blog Hop and it just got put on the back-burner.  Then I somehow managed to accidentally erase it after posting it yesterday, so this is actually a rewrite of the original, sheesh!  But hey, I think it may have tuned out even better than the first go round.

If you do enjoy the blog, I ask that you help keep Piper and I in the public eye by voting for us on Top Mommy Blogs and Top Baby Blogs via the links below.  Then, after that, please come check out my other social sites as something is always happening somewhere!  Last but not least, find me on Instagram, too!  I have recently started posting more and more pics there regularly, so it's a great place to get the latest Piper picture news!  Hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend, and don't forget to remember those who have given of themselves for the freedom of others.  And to my dad, Semper Fi, I love you!

Now go vote!

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